An alternative Easter day out

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The Independent Online
Looking for something novel and exciting to do this Easter Monday? Here is a checklist of some of the newest additions to the bank holiday line-up!

Guided tour of Barings

Open to the public for the first time. Once one of the vital links in the mighty British banking world, Barings was, until recently, a humming fortress of finance but now stands a gaunt and shattered ruin, open to the winds, with starlings nesting in its towers and the occasional forgotten mobile phone ringing unanswered in the wreckage. Take a tour today round this melancholy monument to megalomania. Your guide today is Rupert Pennant- Rea; he will not be offended if you tip him.

Scottish Local Government Battle

The Sealed Ballot Box is a new historical re-enactment society which recreates major elections of the past. Next month, for VE Day, they will be recreating the first post-war General Election which swept Churchill out of power, but today, for one day only, the Sealed Ballot Box are gathering en masse north of the border to recreate last month's triumphant rout of the Tory party.

Eurotunnel Day Out

A choice of special day outings offered by Eurotunnel just for the holiday period. Simply drive to the south coast and watch the queues trying to get on the Eurotrain. Or drive to the middle of Kent and watch French holidaymakers banging on the windows of their specially halted Eurocoaches, holding up notices saying "Au secours! Mayday! 'Elp! Nous sommes attraps dans un buffet avec seulement des chicken tikka sandwiches!" Or just take home a Eurotunnel video of Alastair "Jelly Roll" Morton singingsuch hits as "There's a Long Long Train A-Winding", "I've Got Calais Written on My Heart", "Servicing the Debt Blues" and "There are Ferries at the Bottom of my Troubles".

Easter Treasure Hunt

The National Lottery is organising some special events today, including a hunt-Stephen-Fry contest, a Skip-the Millennium tournament and a Chance- to-Run-the-Government-for-a-Day special. All losing entrants will get a consolation prize in the shape of a chance to buy some of British Rail, but please PLEASE hurry, as they can't sell any of it at the moment...

National Karaoke Museum, Brentford

This is a brand-new museum opened by the Instant Heritage Group, a new but rapidly expanding firm which aims to commemorate the achievements of the 1980s before they become forgotten or too expensive to recreate. Other outlets run by the Instant Heritage Group include Space Invaders Hall in Stoke, the Alternative Comedy Hall of Fame in Newcastle, the Punk Memorial Palace in Streatham and the Indoor Rave Centre at Shepton Mallet. The first of these modern museums to be installed was the National Motorway Cones Hall, which opened last Easter and now attracts a staggering 10,000 visitors a day.

Special Code Change Tour of British Telecom Nerve Centre

Today, the day after all British phone codes have changed again for the last time until the next time, you have a chance to look around the place where it all happens. See the workers actually chipping the extra figure 1s into the code base! Watch the £s mount up as unwary callers misdial and BT managers rub their hands in glee! See the grateful cheques arrive from business-card manufacturers, all making a fortune from people who have to reprint their cards with the new code! Watch the woman who says, smugly and irritatingly (and inaccurately), into your ear: "The person you are calling knows you are waiting..." Get your hands round the neck of the woman who says, smugly and irritatingly: "The person you are calling knows you are waiting...", and strangle the living daylights out of her.

The Luciano Pavarotti Virtual Reality Queuing Experience

Probably only for the opera queuing addict. There are, believe it or not, people who find queuing for an opera ticket more exciting than going to the opera, and for them the Luciano Pavarotti Virtual Reality Queuing Experience is a must. Strap on your virtual reality helmet and you get the impression that you are sitting on a small camp stool, freezing cold, starving, with just half a cup of cocoa left in your flask and only the Big Issue to read.

Booking Now: DE Day. That's Defeat in Europe Day, the festivity peculiar to Germany! If you want to get away from VE Day, book a DE Day trip now, and guarantee freedom from street parties, Vera Lynn records, Union Jacks etc..